Entries for October 2006

October 26, 2006

Try Geocaching

Checkout a GPS unit from the Freedman Center, and start GEOCACHING! This geocaching contest includes locating 5 caches hidden on campus. You will be required to find each cache, and make note of its contents.

After finding all 5 caches (or as many as you can), email the contents of the caches to: ann.vanderschrier@case.edu. The deadline for contest entries will be November 15th at 11am.

Persons who find the most caches will be entered into a drawing to win a Garmin eTrex GPS Unit!

The drawing will be held on November 15th (GIS DAY) at noon, in the Center for Statistics and Geospatial Data. (winner need not be present to claim prize).

All Case students, staff, & faculty are eligible to participate!

Please visit http://library.case.edu/ksl/csgd/geocaching.html for further details on the contest and coordinates & clues to help you find the cache locations. They will remain posted through the duration of the contest. At the conclusion of the contest, pictures of the cache locations and the contest winner's name will be posted on this site.

Please contact Ann Vander Schrier ann.vanderschrier@case.edu with any questions about the contest, or to report a missing or damaged cache or cache contents.

Continue reading "Try Geocaching"

Exploring Libraries (...and our Users) in the Web 2.0 Realm - Follow Up

I hope you had a chance to check out my recent presentation. Since I did not record it, as I thought about it too late, let me share some comments.

I shared all the Web 2.0 tools for several reasons:

  • Librarians can benefit from their use.
  • Librarians need to recognize the names and terminology, in case a user approaches them.
  • Libraries can benefit from or utilize these tools.
  • Users may be using these tools in order to improve their library experience.
  • Users may be using these tools instead of the library.
  • Users are searching for answers using these tools, and is your library "advertised" in the data they discover.
  • Users are creating data and tools that might be better than library resources.
  • Users are creating data and tools that might benefit libraries.
I did not want to scare the audience, since I did not know everyone's technology knowledge. In order to relate to everyone, I focused on our USERS. We all have library users, no matter the level of technology. If a technology is intimidating, think about how it might help your user to replace or supplement a library service or resource. It gives you a strong base to start your exploration.

How Do You Prepare For The Future

A commenter asked me if I had "any suggestions regarding how to prepare our future librarians to work in the traditional, digital, and the new Lib 2.0 environment".

Some people suggest that Web 2.0 will make the future "easier". I believe just the opposite is and will occur. Web 2.0 technology can make our lives more efficient, but it can also overwhelm us with more information than we have time to absorb. More data just means more discussion and questions. I look at it like this. Our online resources are increasing in numbers, and the number of reference questions are not decreasing. They are also getting more difficult in nature though.

I think for new (and current librarians) the key is to learn the traditional resources and methods, and all the new technologies at the same time. Even with all the tools in the world, search methods and (for now) print resources are still critical.

Some suggestions:

  • Let others sort through all the information for you. With blogs, wikis, forums, books reviews, and discussion lists, people are constantly summarizing or suggesting key sources. We cannot read everything, so what are others suggesting.
  • Use RSS feeds to stay current. I can go through hundreds or even thousands of items in my RSS reader in one-hour. RSS feeds are much easier to sort and find the best information, unlike full emails or random Internet browsing.
  • Work as a team. Another librarian and I formed a reading group in our library that has 10-12 members from our staff. One month we read a novel for fun and the next we read articles around a given topic. For example, one month we read various articles about IM, but no one was required to read all the articles (unless they wanted to). The discussion was one-hour over lunch and everyone learned a lot.
  • PLAY! That is my motto. I always try new things. Even if you do not plan on continually using a new technology in the future, one of your users might be. Will you recognize their question when they approach you?
  • Use the same tools we suggest for our patrons: citation managers and database alerts.

October 25, 2006

Exploring Libraries (...and our Users) in the Web 2.0 Realm

Last night, I was the guest speaker for the the Northern Ohio Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (NORASIST). The networking before dinner and the discussion related to my presentation was wonderful. The comments and questions have given me some new areas for exploration.

In the next few days, I will answer a couple questions that were proposed to me that I did not have a full response for. Watch my blog for follow-up.

NORASIST Annual Meeting
Tuesday, October 24th, 2006
Exploring Libraries (...and our Users) in the Web 2.0 Realm
The information world is becoming more user-driven and "social" in scope. As information professionals, we must understand this new wave of Internet customization and collaboration. Our users are developing new expectations in information delivery and interaction, but are we meeting or exceeding their needs? Some libraries and information providers are exploring and utilizing the same principles and technologies that have driven the Web 2.0 movement.Libraries are using tools, such as blogs, RSS feeds, wikis, social communities, podcasts, and various "mash-ups", to give library users increased ownership in their library experiences.

Presentation Bibliography (PDF)
Presentation (PDF)

October 19, 2006

NSF-INSPIRE Undergraduate Polymer Research Awards

For the third consecutive year, a Case Western Reserve University Polymer summer REU student was the winner of the NSF-INSPIRE undergraduate polymer research competition held at the University of Southern Mississippi. All of the students worked with faculty in the macromolecular science and engineering department.

[VIA: CASE DAILY, October 11, 2006]

October 18, 2006

Science Commons

Science Commons, a project of the non-profit Creative Commons, is the sponsor and organizer of the Commons of Science Conference. Our goal is to promote innovation in science by lowering the legal and technical costs of the sharing and reuse of scientific work. We remove unnecessary obstacles to scientific collaboration by creating voluntary legal regimes for research and development.

The Conference is an invitation-only gathering of scientists, policy makers, and commons advocates who are actively interested in designing ways to make access to scientific data more widely available and more transparent a cross all scientific disciplines. Anyone is welcome to read the Background information, Vision Papers, or browse the list of Conference participants.

At the conclusion of the conference, audio recordings of the Conference presentations as well as presentation slides will be available on the Program page, and any recommendations arrived at during the Conference will also be posted on this site.

Science Commons serves the advancement of science by removing unnecessary legal and technical barriers to scientific collaboration and innovation.

Built on the promise of Open Access to scholarly literature and data, Science Commons identifies and eases key barriers to the movement of information, tools and data through the scientific research cycle.

Our long term vision is to provide more than just useful contracts. We will combine our publishing, data, and licensing approaches to develop solutions for a truly integrated and streamlined research process.

Continue reading "Science Commons"

October 13, 2006

Fields Medals Awarded

Fields Medals awarded on August 22, 2006:

  • Andrei Okounkov (Princeton) - "For his contributions bridging probability, representation theory and algebraic geometry."
  • Grigori Perelman (recent Poincare conjecture fame) - "For his contributions to geometry and his revolutionary insights into the analytical and geometric structure of the Ricci flow."
  • Terence Tao (UCLA) - "For his contributions to partial differential equations, combinatorics, harmonic analysis and additive number theory."
  • Wendelin Werner (University of Paris - Sudin Orsay) - "For his contributions to the development of stochastic Loewne revolution, the geometry of two-dimensional Brownian motion, and conformal field theory."

The Fields Medals are the most important international prize in the world of mathematics. They are awarded by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) every four years at the ICM (International Congress of Mathematics).

Continue reading "Fields Medals Awarded"

October 12, 2006

Wiki of Mathcasts

Mathcasts.org was created to give students a library of math tutorials and problem solutions and to give teachers a place to share their methods for teaching & learn from others. It's also a place where students & teachers can contribute and organize sets of movies for others or themselves to use.

Mathcasts are screencasts (screen movies of writing with voice) that focus on mathematics. The collection is maintained in a wiki powered by MediaWiki.

[VIA: The Scout Report, Volume 12, Number 37]

Continue reading "Wiki of Mathcasts"

October 11, 2006

Plastics Historical Society

Plastiquarian.com is the official website of the Plastics Historical Society (PHS). There are sections on plastics, people, manufacturing, virtual museum, and caring for plastics.

[What is the PHS?]

The Plastics Historical Society was formed in 1986 and was first to draw attention to the heritage of the plastics industry and to celebrate all things plastic.

It is an independent society affiliated to the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (London).

Continue reading "Plastics Historical Society"

Rediscovering Archimedes Writings

Stanford University researchers are using X-ray to reveal the 10th century mathematic writings of Archimedes that were erased and hidden by a Christian monk's prayers. See the full story for details how.

[VIA: Wired News, August 5, 2006]

Continue reading "Rediscovering Archimedes Writings"

October 10, 2006

Case Spinoff Gets $400k

FLX Micro Gets Investment
By Brandon Glenn
September 6, 2006
Crain's Cleveland Business on the Web

A Case Western Reserve University spinoff company that manufactures sensors has received a $400,000 investment commitment from nonprofit venture development group JumpStart Inc.

Cleveland-based FLX Micro Inc. plans to use the funding to aid in commercializing its microsensors, which are designed to be used in harsh environments such as automotive engines, according to a statement from JumpStart.

[VIA: CASE DAILY, September 07, 2006]

October 09, 2006

Search Mash

Search Mash lets you search the internet in new ways. It is constantly evolving as they come up with ideas and figure out what works and what doesn't. Checkout the features page from time to time to see what has changed, and also to tell them which features are useful to you. They ask that you bear with them when the site is unavailable as they are limiting its use. Also, see the Terms of Service and Privacy statements.

[VIA: Journal of Search-Engines, LISNews, October 4, 2006]

Continue reading "Search Mash"

New Monthly Engineering Newsletter

The Engineering Education Advocate is a free monthly newsletter with a focus on engineering education and how to market your program more effectively. It is produced by the Engineering Education Service Center.

The newsletter is an invaluable reference for engineering organizations, programs, colleges of engineering and engineering technology, summer camps, events, competitions, contests, and guidance offices. Get the inside scoop on how to reach students, decrease attrition and ultimately increase enrollment.
[VIA: Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog, September 15, 2006]

Continue reading "New Monthly Engineering Newsletter"

October 08, 2006

Warning - MySpace Phishing

MySpace has become the newest target of phishing attacks. Phishing is the sending out of an email that appears to be legitimate in order to steal personal or credit card information from a recipient.

October 07, 2006

No Google Snippets in Belgium

Google has lost a court case in Belgium to include "snippets" of newspaper articles in Google News. In the U.S., publishers have been asking Google to index more content in order to push subscriptions and pay-per-view purchases. I guess Google needs to walk a real interesting tight rope.

[VIA: Library Journal - Academic Newswire, September 28, 2006]

Continue reading "No Google Snippets in Belgium"

October 06, 2006

Presentation - Exploring Libraries (...and our Users) in the Web 2.0 Realm

NORASIST Annual Meeting
Tuesday, October 24th, 2006
Exploring Libraries (...and our Users) in the Web 2.0 Realm
Brian C. Gray, MLIS
Librarian - Engineering, Math, & Statistics
Case Western Reserve University
Kelvin Smith Library
Blog: http://blog.case.edu/bcg8/

The information world is becoming more user-driven and "social" in scope. As information professionals, we must understand this new wave of Internet customization and collaboration. Our users are developing new expectations in information delivery and interaction, but are we meeting or exceeding their needs? Some libraries and information providers are exploring and utilizing the same principles and technologies that have driven the Web 2.0 movement. Libraries are using tools, such as blogs, RSS feeds, wikis, social communities, podcasts, and various "mash-ups", to give library users increased ownership in their library experiences. More information from NORASIST News.

October 05, 2006

Search Committee Appointed to Search for Case School of Engineering Dean

Case Western Reserve University recently announced the formation of an internal search advisory committee for the dean of the Case School of Engineering (CSE).

The committee is primarily comprised of CSE faculty, along with representation from other schools and departments within the university, students and CSE alumni.

See announcement for full details.

Fourth Annual Inventors Forum - Patent Law 101

The Technology Transfer Office will present the second seminar of the 4th annual Inventors Forum speaker series on Thursday, October 12th, 2006 at 4:00 PM in Wolstein Auditorium. The seminar, titled "Patent Law 101 (and 102, 103, and 112)" will feature J.T. Kalnay, attorney with the law firm of McDonald Hopkins Co., LPA and Mr. Don Brown, CEO of Arteriocyte, Inc.

If you would like to attend this seminar, please RSVP at the Inventors Forum website by clicking the link below:

WHO: CASE Technology Transfer Office
WHAT: Fourth Annual Inventors Forum - "Patent Law 101 (and 102, 103, and 112)"
WHEN: Thursday, October 12th, 2006, 4:00-5:00PM, A reception will follow the seminar from 5:00-6:00 PM with refreshments
WHERE: Wolstein Auditorium, Wolstein Research Building

October 03, 2006

Knovel: Take the University Challenge! - For Case Students

If you have not already entered the Knovel University Challenge, please give it a try.

For Case Students Only - I will offer an added bonus. Stop by the Engineering Reading Room in Nord Hall 508 and pick up a paper entry for a chance to win one of two Knovel gift packages. It will have the same exact questions that Knovel is collecting for their giveway. Fill out the paper form and bring the entry to Nord Hall 510. Nord 510 is the office where faculty, staff, and students can stop by for assistance from me, the Engineering, Mathematics, and Statistics Librarian. It is located on the 5th floor of Nord Hall in the hallway attached to Sears. If I am not present, please slide the entry under the door.

I will only accept one entry per student, and the 2 winners will be selected from everyone that submits the correct answers. The Case-Only Contest will end at midnight on Monday, November 13, 2006.

Continue reading "Knovel: Take the University Challenge! - For Case Students"

Craigslist Not For Sale

CNN.com reports that Craigslist is not for sale, even though another social networking website MySpace was just valued at over $15 million.

The founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, is a Case alumnus.